OWINGS MILLS, Md. – A couple of days before the start of the 2013 season, outside linebacker Terrell Suggs acknowledged how much it would mean to him to play his entire career with the Baltimore Ravens.
It still isn’t certain that will happen, but Suggs’ new four-year deal, which became official when he signed the contract Monday morning, makes that significantly more likely than it appeared earlier this offseason.
“I’m truly honored that I get to be a Raven for life,” the 31-year-old Suggs said in a news conference at the team facility, where the extension was announced.
The deal is worth $28.5 million and includes an $11 million signing bonus, according to a source. The contract includes $16 million in guaranteed money, the source said.
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The contract lowers Suggs’ $12.4 million salary-cap figure for the 2014 season to $7.8 million and gives the Ravens much-needed flexibility under the cap. The Ravens are roughly $16.5 million under a projected NFL salary cap limit of $126.3 million.
“This gives Terrell an opportunity to continue to play football in Baltimore,” Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said, also acknowledging Suggs’ new deal “helps” the champions of the 2012 season in terms of the cap.
Suggs, who was entering the final year of a six-year, $62.5 million contract, was willing to compromise, valuing a little more long-term security and a chance to remain with the only NFL organization he has known.
A first-round pick from Arizona State in the 2003 draft, Suggs has played 11 seasons with the Ravens and is their all-time leader in sacks with 94.5.
Charge could harm Rice’s image
BALTIMORE – Off the field, Ray Rice is among the Baltimore Ravens’ most visible players, from the running back’s community outreach to his anti-bullying activities to myriad profitable endorsements.
But an alleged domestic dispute last weekend between Rice and his fiancée at an Atlantic City, N.J., casino could tarnish the image he has built during his six years in Baltimore.
Rice, 27, and Janay Palmer, 26, were charged with simple assault-domestic violence after allegedly striking each other with their hands at the Revel Casino, where surveillance cameras filmed the incident. No injuries were reported.
The charge is likely to affect Rice’s outside endeavors, said Howe Burch, managing director of Baltimore-based TBC Advertising.
“It doesn’t look good for him,” Burch said. “I think it clearly undermines the image he has crafted with the Ravens as one who gives back to the community. It’s clearly a blemish on him and something he’ll have to overcome.”
Ravens officials on Monday were still gathering details about the incident.
“When I left my office 20 minutes ago … Ray Rice was still a big part of what we plan to do in 2014,” Newsome said.
• The Chicago Bears agreed to a one-year contract with defensive end Austen Lane, 26, who appeared in two games for Detroit last season after playing for Jacksonville from 2010 to 2012.